The Pentagon has confirmed two U.S. Army Green Berets were killed during combat operations in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on Saturday.
Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28, of Las Cruces, New Mexico were killed by wounds sustained in combat, the Pentagon confirmed in a statement Friday. Both men were members of 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Both men were posthumously promoted to their current listed ranks and awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for their actions, Lt. Col Loren Bymer, a spokesman for US Army Special Operations Command, confirmed in a statement to American Military News.
“Sgt. 1st Class Rodriguez was selfless and served honorably; he was certainly among the best in our unit,” Col. John W. Sannes, the 7th Special Forces Group Commander, said of Rodriguez.
Sannes said, “Sgt. 1st Class Gutierrez’ was a warrior that exemplified selfless service and a commitment to the mission, both values that we embody here in the 7th Special Forces Group.”
On Saturday, reports indicated several U.S. troops were wounded and killed following an attack.
“A combined U.S. and Afghan force conducting an operation in Nangarhar Province was engaged by direct fire on Feb. 8,” Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said as reports of the attack first circulated. “We are assessing the situation and will provide further updates as they become available.”
It was not immediately clear if the attack came as the result of Taliban or ISIS-affiliates in the area or if the incident was an insider attack involving Afghan partner forces, as some reports have indicated.
The Pentagon reported the details of the attack were still under investigation at the time officials confirmed the attack.